When the Prophet ﷺ buried Fatima bt. Asad, he prayed for her and called her ‘my mother’.
There were many reasons for this, not the least of which is that she had raised him when, after his grandfather Abdul Muttalib died, he had gone to live with his Uncle Abu Talib.
She was also one of the first to believe. In an intellectually independent move, she diverged from her husband’s stance of ‘I cannot leave what my forefather’s believed in’, and followed Muhammad ﷺ in faith.
She turned her belief toward her children, and all of them entered Islam. We know and love all of her children and two of them are especially dear to our hearts; Jafar b. Abu Talib and Ali b. Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with both of them).
She followed the Prophet ﷺ to Medina and her home was a place of rest for him there. She also became the mother-in-law of the Prophet’s daughter when her son, Ali (r) married Fatima bt. Muhammad (rf).
This woman was called ‘my mother’ by our dear Prophet ﷺ.
Who is your mother? Who are the women in your life who have cared for you in your childhood? Who are the women who have set strong examples of intellectual clarity and belief? Who are the women who were devoted to dawah and the guidance of those around them? Who are your mothers?
The woman who gave birth to you is especially deserving of your kindness, prayer and loyalty. Do not be impatient with her quirks and demands; rather celebrate them and fulfill them.
The aunts and grandmothers who crave to know about your lives, and wish you had more time for them, but forgive you for being ‘busy’ are also deserving of your attention and time.
The teachers who worried about your prayers and your learning, wherever they are, they have a right to your appreciation and fulfillment of the trust.
Friends and sisters who have listened to you and loved you even when you struggled to spend time with your self.
Neighbor women, community women, and boss women – all the women who contributed to mothering you – they deserve your loyal thanks.
Let us pause and remember all the wonderful women in our lives. Hold the memory and first be thankful. Allahu Akbar and al-hamdulilah for all the women who have loved and cared for us – even if the way they showed it was neither blithe nor decorous. Take five minutes a day, and call them on the telephone, send a card, make some effort to show them that you are not ungrateful. Indeed the Prophet ﷺ said, “He does not thank God, he who does not thank people.”
With a full and thankful heart, let us then pray for our mothers this week. All the women who have helped us become the women we are today; let us not be of those who forget and are disloyal. Let us pray for them. In the still of the night, let us raise our hands and pray for them deeply and fervently.
Ya Rab, Ameen.